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Zurich Film Festival

Zurich Film Festival offers its 79’000 visitors insight into the work of the most exciting and promising filmmakers from around the world. In the International Documentary and Feature Film Competitions emerging directors have the opportunity to present their films in Zurich to the wide attention of the entire German-language market. Participants include both rising and renowned filmmakers as well as buyers, sellers, distributors, media professionals and industry leaders. Twitter I facebook Youtube I Instagram


Women on the rise / strong Swiss presence with 160 productions / 41 debut works / 12 world premieres


All eyes once again face Zurich from September 28 when the eleven-day Zurich Film Festival shows the most recent films from around the globe. There are emerging filmmakers in the competition categories, the most important and exciting productions of the year in the Gala Premieres section, more films than ever by female directors and a strong presence of Swiss cinema.


Festival Directors Nadja Schildknecht and Karl Spoerri unveiled the 13th Zurich Film Festival programme today and are excited by the way the festival continues to develop.  Spoerri and the programme team have put together an impressive line-up of high-quality, topical films. Spoerri is delighted to be able to present a thematically diversified programme with many new discoveries. “We are presenting a substantial, high-calibre programme with many of this autumn’s big-name titles. The ZFF is now internationally renowned and is regarded as an important and popular meeting place for both the industry and audiences alike.”

Schildknecht and her team have managed once again to increase the budget on last year. “We’re delighted with the ZFF’s popularity, which is evident in the increase this year in the number of partners who have placed their confidence in us. We were able to sign more than 150 partnerships. In the current economic climate, this is extremely pleasing and unique on the Swiss festival landscape”, said Schildknecht.


With a total of 160 productions, including 41 debut works and 12 world premieres, this year’s festival is similar in size to last year’s. However the four new festival theatres at RiffRaff now allow the Festival to be more generous with the programming. With 15 productions, Swiss cinema is also well represented – not to mention the all-star line-up, which is unique in Switzerland.   


Strong women…


This year’s ZFF is also a festival of women. Two weeks from today, Doris Leuthard, President of the Swiss Confederation, will stand alongside Zurich’s Mayor Corine Mauch to open this major event. The list of female celebrities gracing the Green Carpet not only includes Glenn Close, Alicia Vikander, Claire Foy, Valeria Golino, Birgit Minichmayr, Emmanuelle Seigner, Ildiko Enyedi and Tonie Marshall, but also Léa Pool, Lisa Brühlmann, Marie Leuenberger and Monica Gubser.


“Of course there is a little bit of luck involved, but we are still very proud to be screening not less than 38 films by female directors,” said Spoerri. “The proportion of women in the three competition sections is even higher at between 35% and 40%. We have nothing to be ashamed of when considering the male to female ratio discussion currently occupying the film industry from Hollywood to Swiss cinema.”


Film titles including THE WIFE, BATTLE OF THE SEXES, MOLLY'S GAME, DAPHNE, GRACE JONES - BLOODLIGHT AND BAMI, MAMA COLONELLE, SARAH JOUE UN LOUP GAROU and NUMÉRO UNE make it clear that women are the centre of attention whether behind or in front of the camera.  Alongside films from directors Claire Denis, Sophie Fiennes, Lisa Langseth and many others, numerous productions see female protagonists like Jessica Chastain, Brie Larson, Emma Stone, Nicole Kidman, Isabelle Huppert, Juliette Binoche and Rossy de Palma taking the lead role.


...and men


And there’s no forgetting the men: director and producer Rob Reiner will receive this year’s A Tribute to... Award and present the world premiere screening of his most recent movie SHOCK AND AWE. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin will receive this year’s Career Achievement Award and actors Jake Gyllenhaal and Andrew Garfield will both leave with the Golden Eye Award. Director Marc Forster, producer Michel Merkt, the actors James Marsden, Charles Dance, Ulrich Matthes and Moritz Bleibtreu and the musician Herbert Grönemeyer will also be present at the ZFF. And Al Gore will be the first former Vice President to honour the ZFF with his presence at the finale. 


Not only have a large proportion of competition directors accepted the invitation to attend the ZFF and pose for photographs and autographs on the Green Carpet, but so have many of the filmmakers and actors from the popular Gala Premieres section and sidebars including the New World View, Border Lines and TVision sections. The comprehensive programme also includes the ZFF Masters at the Filmpodium, the ZFF Talks at the Festival Centre, in the NZZ Lounge or at Folium Sihlcity, and the Film Music Competition, taking place this year at the Tonhalle Maag.


In addition to those already announced as walking the green carpet, others guests confirmed to attend to date are: Ruben Östlund, Janus Metz, Sverrir Gudnason, Ronny Sandhal, Luca Guadagnino, Andrew Haigh, Alex Lipschultz, Paulina Garcia, Björn Runge, Annie Stark, Claes Bang, Mike White, Xavier Beauvois, Amanda Sthers, Laura Mora, Natasha Jaramillo, Peter Mackie Burns, Andy Serkis,Xavier Legrand, Ali Asgari, Matan Yair, Mark Stanley, Guillermo Pfenning, Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, Thomas Haemmerli, Kaleo La Belle, Emma Marxer, Gabriel Baur, Joran Albertine, Greg Shapiro, Mila Aung-Thwin, Greg Zglinski, Maryam Goormghtich, Arash, Christian Tod, Nahuel Lopez, Daniel Hope, Stephanie Porezag, Özgür Yildrim, Rahul Jain, Bonjan Burnać, Alexandra Wesolowski, Arman T. Riahl, Thomas Fühapter, Matt Ruskin, Mark Grieco, Ramona Diaz, Camilla Magid, Katharina Wyss, Bernhard Braunstein, Markus Tschütscher, Michael R. Roskam, Xavier Beauvois, Julia Langhof, Leila Connors, Markus Goller, Christian Sondergger, Rolf Lyssy, Ed Guiney, Laura Mora, Natasha Jaramillo, Orban Wallace, Jared Moshe, Jonathan Cavendish.


Welcome to the 13th Zurich Film Festival!


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About Zurich Film Festival

September 26 - October 6, 2019

The Zurich Film Festival presents the most promising new filmmakers and films.

The competition comprises of the following three categories:

  • International Feature Film Competition
  • International Documentary Film Competition
  • Focus Switzerland, Germany, Austria (Feature Films and Documentary Films)

Furthermore the Zurich Film Festival includes other fascinating sections:
-Border Lines
-New World View
-Gala Premieres
-Special Screenings
-ZFF for Kids

Call for Entries! Submit your film now and take a chance to screen your film at the Zurich Film Festival 2019.

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Zurich Film Festival





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